The Jade Peony


238 pages
ISBN 1-55054-468-3
DDC C813'.54






Reviewed by Stan Chung

Stan Chung teaches English at the College of New Caledonia in Prince
George, B.C.


Choy’s outstanding fictional memoir stands out because of its setting
in Vancouver’s Chinatown, and because its poignant characters remain
memorable and distinct long after reading. Choy’s strength is his
ability to present a Chinese family setting with a level of authenticity
and detail that succeeds beyond even that produced by a writer like Amy
Tan. This first novel bristles with superb dialogue, precise
description, and strong characters. While he has successfully captured
the spirit of Chinatown in the 1930s and 1940s, Choy’s great
achievement does not lie in a political agenda or even a cultural one;
his finely evoked female characters transcend such issues to make The
Jade Peony one of the best novels of the year.


Choy, Wayson., “The Jade Peony,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024,